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Nevada Approves Rules For Self-Driving Cars

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the plans-to-install-slot-machines-in-place-of-steering-wheels dept.

Transportation 307

Griller_GT writes with news that Nevada has become the first U.S. state to approve regulations for allowing self-driving cars on its roads. "Autonomous test vehicles will display a red license plate, Nevada officials said. If and when the technology is approved for public use, the cars will carry a green license plate. ... Nevada said it worked with Google, automobile manufacturers, testing professionals, insurance companies, universities and law enforcement to develop the regulations. Other states also have similar bills that will be voted upon to determine if they, too, can follow suit."

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How well do they handle dangerous situations? (4, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073305)

I've seen lots of video of them under ideal scenarios.

Let's get some crash video! :)

Hydroplaning, black ice, big potholes, road debris, silver-hairs stomping on the brakes, et cetera.

Should be entertaining, if disconcerting, to say the least.

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (5, Interesting)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073365)

Here's an ideal scenario: Get all the manual idiots off the road, so the smart cars don't have to deal with them :)

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (5, Insightful)

rykin (836525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073589)

One could argue that those who drive a manual transmission are the only ones who actually know how to drive. ;)

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073691)

The previous transmission lacked detail. Automatic and manual refer to the control of the vehicle, not the style of gearbox.

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (2, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074055)

No if you have ever ridden with someone with manual transmission you realize this isn't true. If you are going to get car sick it will be riding with someone who drives manual. Not so much that that are any better or worse. However when they change gears they tend to do it harder then on Automatic. So you feel jolts when they change. The driver doesn't notice this as much as he/she is expecting it, so it doesn't cause as much an issue.

Having drove manual for a while, I have been complements on how smooth I shift gears, however for people who haven't rid much in manual cars they are still feeling like I am driving sporadic.

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (3, Interesting)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074517)

Here in Europe almost everyone drives manual. Most handle it without making the passengers sick, but maybe the Europeans are more resistant to this. Those who can't controll it seem to consider the clutch as a binary switch. I know one person who also considers the break and the gas pedal to be binary. I haven't sat in the car with her behind the weel but I have seen her on the road, it's terrible.
By the way: there is a big difference between different clutches. I have an old Opel Astra (1997). The clutch is extremely "long" (it starts to disconnect almost immediately after you touch the pedal, and you have to floor it to disconnect completely. This is a distance of more than 10 cm (4 inches) ) There are many newer cars with "short" clutches (as in "at one angle the clutch starts to disconnect and a cm (half an inch) lower it's disconnected completely"). These are better for racing as they allow fast swiching. They are not comfortable however, as you need to be able to controll the angle of your foot to a greater degree to let it connect smoothly. Most differences between clutch controll can be laid at the feet of the clutch design.

One could, and one would be wrong (4, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074107)

I'd like you to explain to me the relevance of being able to fiddle with a dangerous piece of machinery (try engaging reverse at 70) while driving, to competence in things like anticipation of traffic ahead, interpreting other driver behavior, observing road signs and the like. The manual transmission is simply an artefact of the invention of the car having preceded the invention of a good way to get the power to the road. There is simply no reason to believe that the ability to use it correlates to the ability to drive.

And before you start - long history of manual motorbikes and cars ranging from Triumph T100 to BMW, also long experience of automatics ranging from Kia to Merc, and now a Prius. I have also driven extensively in the US and Europe, on both sides of the road. My conclusion? For a given skill level, the auto is always safer because your attention is never distracted at a crucial moment. When you brake, you brake; no remembering the "clutch" or to "change down".

The ability of an architect isn't measured in terms of her/his ability to bake bricks.

Re:One could, and one would be wrong (4, Insightful)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074329)

Next you'll be saying that having an automatic starter doesn't improve driving performance! Obviously everyone was a better driver when they had to manually crank their engine to get it to start.

Re:One could, and one would be wrong (2, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074401)

""My conclusion? For a given skill level, the auto is always safer because your attention is never distracted at a crucial moment. When you brake, you brake; no remembering the "clutch" or to "change down"."

I guess you've got some of the worst muscle memory and situational awareness ever. I've driven a manual so long that it's literally second-nature to me, everything happens without thinking, it's pure reflex. I don't even bother with the RPM gauge, I know most cars by feel and sound alone, there should be ZERO distraction, it should be an immediate reflex and nothing more.

Also, you tell me how an automated vehicle is going to have the fuzzy logic to know whether a car nearby is actually about to swerve out of control or if the driver is just inattentive and drifting.

Also, there are plenty of manual transmission cars without a clutch mechanism, having it done automatically after you press the gear up/down paddles on the steering wheel/floor ratchet shifter.

Re:One could, and one would be wrong (5, Insightful)

Sevalecan (1070490) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074503)

Having driven manual cars and motorcycles plenty myself, I can say that I don't find the need to use the clutch or change gears really that distracting at all. Sure, it's something else to do, but something I can do without thinking about it. On top of that, if you just want to stop in a manual and you're more concerned about avoiding an accident? You can still just hit the brake. The car will stop and stall, no big deal. It's a lot better than getting in an accident, and it probably won't do any real damage to your car. Trust me, I've stalled mine plenty when I first learned to drive a stick.

P.S. Good luck shifting a manual into reverse going at 70 MPH on the highway. Most cars, to my knowledge, don't have a synchro on the reverse gear.

Re:One could, and one would be wrong (1)

rykin (836525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074523)

My comment was meant to be more entertaining than anything else. Growing up, my parents used to tell me that I wasn't really "driving" because I had power steering, power breaks, and an automatic transmission. You know, the whole "back in my day...." commentary. ;) Though, I will say that many manuals now have a lock that prevents you from shifting into reverse while moving forward.

Re:One could, and one would be wrong (2)

ninjacheeseburger (1330559) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074543)

For a given skill level, the auto is always safer because your attention is never distracted at a crucial moment.

(I've never driven an automatic) I'd argue having a manual forces you to pay more attention to the road as you have to anticipate gear changes, especially when approaching junctions. With an automatic your more likely to believe you can do something else whilst driving like holding a mobile, as you only need one hand.

Re:One could, and one would be wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074557)

I don't know about your driving experience but mine as a European driving manual transmission for over 16years is that in the same reflex to brake hard my other leg goes automatically to the clutch. Shifting gears and clutching is not an attention distraction but becomes muscle memory

And about being safer: I took a slip course once and the instructor said you get 4WD and thus better handling when you press the clutch down.

Re:One could, and one would be wrong (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074579)

While there is merrit to your argument I must point out that it's impossible to engage reverse in a manual car at 70 (mph or kmph). There are protections against that.

Re:One could, and one would be wrong (1)

HnT (306652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074677)

I'd like you to explain to me the relevance of being able to diddle of around on the command line of a potentially dangerous piece of machinery (try editing iptables on distant servers at >1000ms lag or fiddling with your boss's inbox!) while trying to just make it through your bleak sysadmin day, to competence in things like anticipation of incoming email traffic, interpreting luser behavior, observing uptime stats while reading slashdot and the like. The command line is simply an artefact of the invention of the computer having preceded the invention of the Apple-iWay-of-things to get the CPU and App power on the "road". There is simply no reason to believe that the ability to use it correlates to the ability to be a literate, civilized sysadmin or developer.

And before you start - long history of terminals and command lines ranging from Datapoint 3300 to contemporary terminal emulators, also long experience of GUIs ranging from Commodore to OS/2, and now OS X. I have also sysadmined/hacked extensively in the US and Europe, in both QWERTY and DVORAK. My conclusion? For a given skill level, the GUI is always safer because your attention is never distracted at a crucial moment. When you click, you click; no remembering the order and impact of arguments or commands. And its nice colors make me feel warm and fuzzy inside!

The ability of a sysadmin/hacker isn't measured in terms of her/his ability to vi/emacs/ed/generally use the command line.

Re:One could, and one would be wrong (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074855)

So, you drive dangerously, hitting the brakes without changing down a gear?

If changing gear distracts you from driving you may lack the mental capacity to drive safely at all.

actually, (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074247)

One could argue that those who drive motorcycles are the only ones who actually know how to drive. Funny how much a heightened sense of mortality teaches you about how to spot and avoid dangerous situations. Also teaches you a hell of a lot about braking and cornering that's hard to learn when you have all four wheels planted.

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074471)

I know how to drive a stick, owned quite a few cars with manual transmissions, but I would argue that you're wrong. It's like saying that you don't know how to drive unless you know how to operate a manual choke and starter crank -- other primitive technologies that are thankfully gone.

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074843)

You mean the guy who keeps violently trying to shift due to a green light on a hill, all while drifting back 15 feet just to land on the car behind them's bumper?

No thanks. Too many douchebags in my neck of the woods who think a manual is cool, then have no clue how to operate it.

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074345)

Here's an ideal scenario: Get all of the idiots off the road that don't use the proper care while guiding a 2 ton projectile so the people who do don't have to deal with them :)

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073931)

In many ways these conditions can probably be safer with an automatic car then with a real driver.

There are some rather common ways dealing with these situations. But people when in a situation where their car isn't doing what they want they panic and stomp on the breaks which is usually better then nothing, however for cases where friction is reduced there is the general mind set. A car can change directions, accelerate/decelerate. However in reduced friction environment you can only do one. If you need to turn take your foot off the gas and turn slightly, if you need to stop stop without turning, if you need to speed up do so without turning, the car may still feel funny but normally for these cases there is only a few feet of travel until you get back onto a normal friction road, then you can correct your mistake. People panic stop and turn, then the car gets into an accident.

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (-1, Flamebait)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074169)

What if the driver is smoking pot?

I submitted this story 2.5 days ago http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/02/16/236219/fcc-cracks-down-on-robocalls [slashdot.org]
Are you all, how shall I say this? NIGGERS !!!

Slashdot was my home page in the past, as it is now, I cannot get the karma to kick your NIGGER asses. Please delete my account, You are a collective bunch of freakin idiots.

Fuck you all !!!

Re:How well do they handle dangerous situations? (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074525)

Well I don't know if that is the prime focus, considering their testing areas have been California so far, and AZ next. That being said I don't imagine ti would take that long for the cars to surpass humans in the art of dealing with emergencies. The knee jerk human instincts are almost always the worse thing you can do in the situation. When hydroplaning 9/10 people would slam on the breaks. A computer could actually asses the situation calculate out the balance of the car etc... I'm not saying they necessarily have already mastered such, but honestly if the goal is to outperform the average licensed driver in a panicked situation, I doubt that would be extremely difficult.

Hopefully the first of many (4, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073367)

If the rest of the states follow suit in the next few years, we may actually be able to purchase driverless vehicles in our lifetime.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

All it will take is one "think of the children" campaign courtesy of the chronically ignorant to derail this.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (2, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073399)

If the rest of the states follow suit in the next few years, we may actually be able to purchase driverless vehicles in our lifetime.

For most trips, you can rent them. You don't even need to pay insurance.

It is called a bus.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073467)

If the rest of the states follow suit in the next few years, we may actually be able to purchase driverless vehicles in our lifetime.

For most trips, you can rent them. You don't even need to pay insurance.

It is called a bus.

I don't know where you live, but the buses I've seen have a driver.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074475)

Yeah... and typically he is less human than my desktop.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (1)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073501)

Last time I checked, there was somebody sitting at the front driving, and it was therefore not _driverless_.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073789)

Last time I checked, there was somebody sitting at the front driving, and it was therefore not _driverless_.

Driverless in the sense "I don't have to drive it, I can do something else". That is the benefit of the autonomous vehicle, no?

Re:Hopefully the first of many (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073843)

That and it would be capable of processing more input data faster than a human driver, thus making better decisions.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (2)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074285)

I'm not sure how faster data processing leads to more optimal decisions.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074349)

Faster decisions doesn't necessarily mean better decisions. However, I do think driverless vehicles will be far safer than vehicles piloted by humans. Humans are limited by emotion (fear, anger, impatience) while machines are not.

Rather than having people complain that they're dangerous, I suspect the main complaint will be "but that 100 mile trip took ten minutes longer!"

Re:Hopefully the first of many (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074421)

>implying a machine would ever understand humans enough to develop the appropriate fuzzy logic to anticipate the myriad ways a human can fuck things up.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074351)

Yes, but a bus doesn't leave the minute I want to leave, doesn't take me from the parking lot of the building I'm in to my front door, and generally won't work well at all outside of large urban areas.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073615)

For one or more of:
      * incredible cost
      * indirect slow trip
      * long wait

Re:Hopefully the first of many (2)

neyla (2455118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074337)

1) Buses don't start at my home.

2) Buses don't go where I want to go.

3) Buses don't go -when- I want to go.

4) I cannot store my stuff from one shop in the bus while visiting a different shop.

5) The bus is full of strangers, some of which behave and/or smell bad

6) I can't choose the color of my bus, nor the seats, nor anything else.

7) The bus doesn't play the music I like.

8) The bus takes -much- longer, doing my 10-mile commute with dropoff of children in daycare by bus would mean taking 3 different buses each way (a total of 6!), and take a minimum of 2 hours extra time a day, compared to a car.

9) Did I mention it's expensive ? Even at $50/hour, the opportunity-cost of taking the bus is a mind-boggling $10.000/year. This is 4 times what I spend on my car.

Re:Hopefully the first of many (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073727)

All it will take is one "think of the children" campaign courtesy of the chronically ignorant to derail this.

Think of all the children that are killed by drunk/reckless drivers

Re:Hopefully the first of many (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073881)

All it will take is one "think of the children" campaign courtesy of the chronically ignorant to derail this.

Think of all the children that are killed by drunk/reckless drivers

Good luck explaining that to paranoid crowds waving photoshopped placards of roadkill and screaming about robot vehicles on the rampage

Coloured license plates to ID drivers (2, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073373)

If coloured license plates could be used to ID drivers and their abilities, how about a system for allowing differing speeds based on:
1) Car type
2) Car condition
3) Driver experience

I think that most would agree that a 2012 model BMW driven by a professional racecar driver with 20 years' experience and no traffic infractions could be driven safely 20 KPH faster than a 1982 Peugeot with bald tires driven by a 18 year old who already has two infractions.

I did not invent this, I heard it proposed years ago. But I think that now with automated vehicles being distinguished from human drivers, that the time is ripe and the technology is here to implement it.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (5, Insightful)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073547)

Different coloured plates may be useful, but I disagree that different rules should apply. I REALLY don't want racecar drivers with new BMWs tearing around the place. That's dangerous, frankly.

I've done a bit of track driving, I don't consider my ability to be much above mediocre for an enthusiast, but I'm better than your average driver. I'm fastidious about sticking to the road rules, just because not everyone has the same level of skill as me.

The roads are for transport, not personal amusement. I want to arrive safely at my destination, please. I'm not too bothered if you're bored because it's slow.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (0)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073723)

I am not bored because it is slow. I am trying to get _off_ the road as quickly as possible. That means either compressing the distance between my starting and ending points, or increasing the speed. Additionally, this plan has the side effect of giving tangible, real-world benefit to safe drivers (increased speed). That will give the aforementioned 18 year old a reason to stop racking up the infractions.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073827)

I am not bored because it is slow. I am trying to get _off_ the road as quickly as possible. That means either compressing the distance between my starting and ending points, or increasing the speed...

Have you tried turning the driving wheel?

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074111)

Drive slow so you can drive fast?

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074187)

18 year-olds don't rack up the infractions because they drive badly, they rack up infractions because they get caught driving badly. Until caught being idiots everyone under your system would be rewarded with the right to drive faster until someone actually notices that they're behaving like idiots on the road.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073757)

From pretty much every interview I've heard from professional motor racers is that they are a stickler for the rules of the road, none of them see the point of speeding and save it all for the track.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073915)

I seem to recall (it may have been here, actually) a study where people's driving skills were independently assessed alongside how they drove. Driving skill was very strongly correlated to their tendency to follow the rules of the road.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074021)

I'll concede that I don't know about any such statistics. The average driver of a BMW where I live though, is what is sometimes classified as a "plonker", most of whom think they've got more skill than Lewis Hamilton, though they do much more overtaking than what he does. More than once I've narrowly avoided being taken out by such a specimen.

In cases like that, adding more rules won't fix things I guess, because they don't even obey the existing ones. Taking them completely off the road would work.

Disclaimer: I'm a South African. YMMV.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074241)

Typical BMW drivers are type A personalities who have money because they break the rules whenever they can get away with it.

Jenson Button (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074189)

Button (F1 driver) was interviewed recently driving a new McLaren road car. He remarked that he did not want to try and operate the radio because he was unfamiliar with it, and he did not want to be distracted while driving.

Any coincidence that Button is one of the most technically polished and controlled F1 drivers (and has been world champion)?

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074053)

Different coloured plates may be useful, but I disagree that different rules should apply.

I don't. I've had this idea for some time since I moved to Arizona and got to experience the joy/crap that is the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane. I suggest an Advanced Driver lane. You have to pass a test every year or every other year to get a plate for it but you can drive as fast as you want.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (1)

Quanticfx (2443904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074413)

Oh how I love the HOV lane on the 101 on a Friday afternoon, until non-HO vehicles mess it up.

An advanced driver lane would be cool and the testing every year sounds like a decent idea. I think the best way it would work was if the lane was completely separated from the rest, but that would require separate off ramps for exits so probably wouldn't make sense from a monetary or road engineering viewpoint.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073613)

So you have to change your license plate as your tires get worn down?
Although I'd love to see a system that allows better drivers to drive faster (and force crappier drivers to drive slower), there's too many other variables already in the mix to try to add more. The one place I see it working best, and maybe a good place to start, is on limited access highways that are already designed for high speed and high volume.

Personally, I'd much rather force better driver training before allowing people on the road at all. The test to get your license is a joke - the road test should at least take you into an area with traffic moving above 20 mph if it's going to gauge your abilities at all.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073745)

Cars get a yearly inspection as it is where I live. The tag could be part of the inspection. Perhaps the whole tag need not be replaced, just a wide stripe down one side of it.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (5, Insightful)

hipp5 (1635263) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073629)

And how often do we check the condition of the car? Do you need to go in monthly to validate the good condition of your tires? What about when the 16 year old son of the race car driver takes the car out? Does he get the +20kph license plate? Or does he have to unscrew it and put his on?

I think the logistics of the whole thing make it a rediculous undertaking for marginal benefit (is there even a benefit?)

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073767)

And how often do we check the condition of the car? Do you need to go in monthly to validate the good condition of your tires? What about when the 16 year old son of the race car driver takes the car out? Does he get the +20kph license plate? Or does he have to unscrew it and put his on?

I think the logistics of the whole thing make it a rediculous undertaking for marginal benefit (is there even a benefit?)

Cars get yearly inspections as it is already. Tires are generally good for a few years.

How is the situation handled when it is a human piloting the car instead of the computer? Does he get out and change the plate? How about instead of changing the whole plate, the driver puts a coloured stripe next to the plate before starting on his way. There are other benefits to that as well.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (3, Insightful)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073647)

I think that most would agree that a 2012 model BMW driven by a professional racecar driver with 20 years' experience and no traffic infractions could be driven safely 20 KPH faster than a 1982 Peugeot with bald tires driven by a 18 year old who already has two infractions.

Worst of all is the 2012 BMW driven by an 18-year-old.

I'm not so sure that the red plate for autonomous vehicles is entirely a good idea. I'm think it might attract pranksters or worse.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (4, Insightful)

Antimatter3009 (886953) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073801)

The point of speed limits is usually not to keep you from going "too fast", it's to keep everyone going roughly the same speed. Driving gets more dangerous when cars are all going vastly different speeds. That's why highways also have minimum speed limits. Having someone going 25 on a 60+ mph highway is just as dangerous as having someone go 100.

This is less of an issue where there's not much traffic (parts of the Autobahn, for instance), and you could maybe make it work by having different lanes going different speeds, but there is a point beyond just making you drive slower than you're capable of doing.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (1)

gotpoetry (1185519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073993)

An average one-way commute time for people in the US is 26 minutes (over an average distance of 16 miles). That is about 37 miles an hour. If we could get everyone to drive an average of 60 miles an hour the average commute would drop by 10 minutes. That is not very much and I am skeptical that much of an increase in average speed is even doable.

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (3, Funny)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074179)

White car plate = Normal driver
Yellow plate = Agressive driver
Red plate = Killer driver >:)
Black plate = Death itself driver
Green plate = Yuppie driver, eletric car
Rainbow plate = Driver on drugs
Tartan pattern plate = burlesque speed capable driver (DO NOT try to overcoming this on road)

Re:Coloured license plates to ID drivers (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074341)

The issue with automated cars is for people to see that it is automated and really not to try to get a behavior change out of the car.
Normally if someone thinks I am driving to slow they will tail gate me and make gestures of of frustration. Now I will see this and will provoke me to change my behavior.... If I am in a good mood Ill either speed up or just change lanes and let them drive by. If I am feeling like a jerk I will slow down and position by car with other cars in other lanes so they cannot pass me, of course the last time I did this I was disappointed because I saved the jerk behind me from getting a speeding ticket.

Colorblindness? (4, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073381)

I thought we learned a long time ago not to use only color, especially red and green, to distinguish between signage.

Re:Colorblindness? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074269)

Being that the purpose of the signage is mostly used by government officials in legal matters, such details can be handled by paperwork as necessary. I don't seriously think there's such a thing as red/white colorblind, so differentiating between autonomous and traditional cars should be trivial even for the colorblind.

Re:Colorblindness? (1)

Stickybombs (1805046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074429)

It really doesn't matter if the average colorblind person can't tell that the car in front of them is autonomous. The colored plates are more likely for police officers and such who need that information.
If someone is driving correctly, it won't make a bit of difference if they are following a real driver or a computer.

Re:Colorblindness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074623)

New rule, If you have Colorblindness, you can only use self-driving cars...

Actually a good place to start. (0)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073395)


Nevada, and Vegas, are good places to party. It'd be interesting (though not exactly scientific) to see if impaired driving charges drop when people are able to take their own self-driving car home.

I think... (2, Insightful)

Agent Z5q (144666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073403)

... they should put "Student Driver" on the side of the cars. That would ensure that other drivers would be sufficiently wary.

Re:I think... (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073661)

Here in atlanta student drivers are like chum in the waters off Austraila. We feed on them.

Re:I think... (3, Informative)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074127)

In the UK they have an "L" on cars to signify a "Learner" driver.

Too early? (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073427)

Has automated driving reached a point where if there was an accident the fault would be on the driver and not the carmaker? Until then no one is going to sell these cars. It is a great idea, though, and combined with some other great idea of cheap fuel, I hope it replaces flying ( and getting raped by DHS) altogether.

Re:Too early? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073517)

No, but it's reached the point where automated cars are better than the average human driver. A low bar to pass.

A low bar to pass. (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073773)

That depends, does that low bar show up on the cars sensors? No? Then what passes under the bar, passes. The rest, stays put.

Have you never seen any car chase movies?

Re:Too early? (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073631)

If they're to the point where they're writing legislation I assume they've at least started thinking about the laws that need to be modified to deal with the insurance issues.

Heard This On NPR On The Drive In (1)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073455)

I heard this story on NPR on the way into work and it makes sense. You would need to license and register robotic cars differently so why not start now independant of whether or not Google's car works?

It's from Google... (0)

Dupple (1016592) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073479)

Now they really can track your location!

here's what will happen (0)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073561)

Atlanta, 285 eastbound, 5:15 pm on a friday - boopbeep why did that dude signal left and turn righterrorerrorerrorerror [dies in a fiery crash]

Re:here's what will happen (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073595)

boopbeep why is there a couch in the expresswayerrorerrorerrorerror

#1. (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073633)

A driverless vehicle may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, unless in Reno and with the intent of observing said human's demise.

Re:#1. (1)

mutherhacker (638199) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074497)

ROFL. Isaac Asimov meets Johnny Cash

Car goes out alone at night (5, Funny)

fleebait (1432569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073721)

Next thing, after I go to bed, the car wants to go out on it's own, and just "hang out"

Morning: "Where did you go?"
Car: "Out"
Me: "What did you do?"

Car: "Nothing."

Re:Car goes out alone at night (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074333)

Naaah... it wouldn't get to that point. Most people don't have a given car as long as 13 years.

Use the existing standard! (4, Funny)

GiantRobotMonster (1159813) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073807)

Green licence plates? Pah!
Everybody already knows that a sweeping line of red LEDs in the grill is how you recognise a self driving car.
Sheesh!

Christine! My first self driving car (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073857)

Just don't piss it off, or you'll end up as road kill.

What a waste of Energy (4, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074001)

Self driving cars are a waste of energy.

They should at least be driving goods or people around. But just driving themselves around is such a waste.

Colored License Plates Scream "Steal Me!" (3, Interesting)

akpoff (683177) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074027)

They're going to mandate driver-less cars have unique, identifiable license plates? Sounds like a "Steal Me!" badge.

Remember the problem Florida had about 10 years ago where rental cars with clearly-identifiable stickers (Enterprise "E")? The cards were driven mostly by out-of-country tourists. They were being jacked because the bad guys knew they couldn't defend themselves.

Driver-less cars are chock-a-block with experimental technology, all wrapped-up inside of a $15k - $40k vehicle...with no one to defend them.

What could go wrong?

At least until they get lasers.

Re:Colored License Plates Scream "Steal Me!" (2)

Stickybombs (1805046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074499)

There would still be someone in the car. I imagine it will be quite a while before cars are allowed to drive themselves around unoccupied.

Re:Colored License Plates Scream "Steal Me!" (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074581)

In my experience, it's fairly common these days for new vehicles to come with some technology in the ignition system that makes it virtually impossible to hot wire.... and even if they succeeded, without having the right wireless chip nearby to talk to that is installed in the head of the keys that would normally be in the ignition, the steering column will not unlock, and the car will not shift out of park. With the key absent, the engine would automatically shut off after a certain period without the key installed, just as it would if a remote-start had been issued.

Outside of having a tow truck, and simply carting it away, how do you propose to steal a vehicle that can't be driven without a key?

Re:Colored License Plates Scream "Steal Me!" (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074883)

I'm sorry, I don't understand. A regular car is usually worth tens of thousands of dollars too, and it's usable even by someone who doesn't own it with a minor modification to keyhole.

Yes, there's a lot of electronics in a self driving car, but the majority of those electronics are going to be useless outside of the context of... that car or a car like it.

Actually, I suspect it'll be more difficult to steal one of these things in practice. This is a car that drives itself. It needs access to GPS and up to date databases on traffic patterns to work properly. That means it'll be calling home on a regular basis, possibly even all the time, and giving away its location. Steal it, and you're guaranteed to be caught, convicted, and serving time.

Why not put this energy into public transport? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074105)

I fail to grasp why we aren't investing time and energy in a ramp-up of the abysmal public transport options in the US. Self driving cars are a wonderful idea, but in the end they are a stop gap for the actual problem: there are more cars than available road capacity, and this will continue to increase.

Re:Why not put this energy into public transport? (2)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074541)

Self-driving cars could fit more cars on the road. They can travel closer together as they don't have the half-second danger-response processing a human has before applying the brakes.

Given their faster response times- you need less road per car. So yes, they do deal with that problem.

Re:Why not put this energy into public transport? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074605)

Self-driving cars could fit more cars on the road. They can travel closer together as they don't have the half-second danger-response processing a human has before applying the brakes.

Given their faster response times- you need less road per car. So yes, they do deal with that problem.

If your goal is to transport more people or merchandise efficiently and economically, then highways are inefficient regardless of whether the vehicles are self-driving or not. In order of efficiency, barge (going down stream), rail, road vehicle. Granted, individual vehicles have other benefits and conveniences, but those benefits don't deal with the problem of capacity.

Is this self driving yet ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074217)

Is this self driving yet ???

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-57360066-48/musk-tesla-model-s-on-track-despite-executive-departures/?tag=mncol;2n

Warmest regArds.

green = $$ for ambulance chasing lawyers (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074265)

green = $$ for ambulance chasing lawyers and in a crash if a auto car they will come at you full force.

Re:green = $$ for ambulance chasing lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39074431)

I've read this comment 5 times and I'm still not sure what you're trying to say. Please learn how to English.

Link to Proposed Regulation (1)

PatentMagus (1083289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074365)

I couldn't find what they actually passed, but here's a link to what was proposed back in Dec. 2011. You'd think the Nevada DMV publicity droids would have posted links to what was actually passed ... sigh. Anyways, here it is:

http://www.dmvnv.com/public_meetings/R084-11.pdf [dmvnv.com]

Computer Driver Zones. (2)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074397)

I imagine a day when a significant-enough portion of the population has Computer Driven Cars.

Imagine a city center with a computer-driver only zone. Traffic flows so much easier- cars can travel closer to each other- at faster speeds. No need for inefficient traffic lights (all cars get 0mpg idling at a traffic light)- instead of traffic lights- cars may change velocities to avoid collisions- with an algorythm saying who goes when- all traffic would slow as approaching the light- and accellerate when it is there turn through- all fitting tightly through gaps with each other.

Given enough time to adapt- the whole country could be computer-driver only.

Traffic would be safer-, faster, more cars could fit on the same stretch of road- saving money in taxes, cars would be more fuel efficient (even if we're still using petrol- a car driven by a human would use more and be less efficient).

It is possible that we could partially see this vision within our lifetime. I certainly expect to see before I die city centers where human drivers are not allowed and traffic lights are done away with. I don't think I will see in my lifetime a time when all roads are for computer drivers only though- but that time will come.

Re:Computer Driver Zones. (2)

rwise2112 (648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074655)

Yeah, I saw a documentary about that. However, there was a terrible side effect, in that all resturants became Taco Bells!

Re:Computer Driver Zones. (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074703)

Yes, but Taco Bell would have the three sea shells in the bathroom. So it would be a good trade-off.

Legislation? (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074563)

I'm curious how many evil under-the-radar provisions there are buried within this legislation that is ostensibly for automatic-driving cars. It seems we can't let anything go without scrutiny these days, lest they completely put one over on us and further erode our rights and liberties.

Privacy? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074569)

I wonder if Google's new privacy rules (or lack thereof) apply to using a Google vehicle?

Linked story lacking in details (2)

Clomer (644284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39074663)

The linked story is distinctly lacking in details. Yes, it mentions the red or green license plate requirements, but I consider that to be a minor requirement that says nothing about the actual operation. This [go.com] story has more interesting information and it doesn't even mention the license plate requirement.

Among the highlights:
  • In the test vehicles (presumably the ones with red plates), there must be 2 people in the vehicle at all times, with one able to immediately take over control.
  • Companies must register their testing intentions with the state, such as testing in fog or snow/ice. They must also share results with the state.
  • There must be a "black box" type data recorder that records and stores all sensor data for 30 seconds prior to a collision.
  • Once a vehicle is certified to operate without a driver, a person can operate it without being physically present in the vehicle.
  • The operator is liable regardless of whether they are present or not.
  • There are exceptions for operating an autonomous vehicle while talking on a cell phone (illegal in Nevada without a hands-free device) or texting (also illegal to do while driving), but not for being drunk.

Seems like reasonable rules to me.

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